I have written previously here about the Jordanian standard of cleaning. The only time that more hosing, water and cleaning products are used is before you move into a new house. My mum was in Jordan last year in the lead up to us moving into our new house and had the privilege of experiencing this first hand.
Atef’s family and I had already done 2 days of cleaning before Mum arrived and there were 3 more days after Mum arrived. Not knowing the rules of cleaning when cleaning a new house I had made the rookie error of on the first day washing all the windows on the outside of the house and polishing them to what I considered a finished clean. I was staying clear of the inside of the house as there was more water, hosing, suds and meltdowns from tired children going on than I could cope with.
The second day I was planning on doing the inside of the windows as I figured that it would be safe to start inside as they had hosed the day before. A girlfriend (another Australian expat) came over to help me out (not only with the cleaning, but also for my sanity) and we started on the windows inside. The family all turned up about an hour after Christine and I had made a start on the windows and we had managed to finish the bedrooms and had made a start on the living room. Much to my surprise (and horror) no sooner had the family arrived than the hose was dragged inside the house and into the bedrooms and the hosing commenced again – from top to bottom including the nice clean windows. The whole house was hosed out from top to bottom again and I had to intervene when my nice wooden kitchen was about to be enthusiastically hosed out by Atef’s sister. The hose was then dragged outside and again to my surprise (read my blood was boiling and I was livid) the windows on the outside of the house were all hosed down. Apparently they weren’t “clean” as I hadn’t used copious amounts of water or a hose on them the day before.
The third day of cleaning was when my Mum joined us and it was also the day that the furniture was due to arrive from Amman. I had suggested to mum that her and I tackle the windows on the outside of the house to enjoy the sun and escape the madness that was cleaning fever inside. Out mum and I went with our window cleaning spray and our newspaper and polishing clothes. Sensing that their opportunities for hosing was about to be limited once the furniture arrived, the family had once again dragged the hose into the house and hosed it out from top to bottom. They then dragged it back outside and did the outside of the house again. My mum, who had probably thought that I was exaggerating and overacting when I had told her about my frustrations with the cleaning, was starting to get a sense of what I was talking about. I was starting to realise that my method of cleaning which did not involve a hose and water splashing everywhere did not constitute as clean. Mum and I at this point decided that the windows were something that we could clean once we had moved in.
The furniture arrived that afternoon and I made sure that it was all taken into the correct rooms as I there was no way I was going to leave it all in one room so that the following day it could be easily taken outside and the house hosed again. This is not to say that the following day that if I hadn’t intervened that the furniture in the living room wouldn’t have been taken out and at least that room subjected to a hosing. And this is also not to say that the hose wasn’t used to clean on that 5th day – it was. The windows on the outside of the house and the balconies were hosed for the umpteenth time.
Atef’s brother is moving into his new house in the coming days and I was able to partake and witness in cleaning another new house and I can say that what I experienced with our house wasn’t a one off, but is certainly the process by which new houses are cleaned. We are currently up to day three of cleaning this new house and so far without fail the inside and outside of the house has been hosed out from top to bottom!
The other thing that I should mention is that the hose is actually just a piece of flexible piping attached to the tap outside with no nozzle and it’s never turned off during the cleaning. It’s just left running. It’s a two story house and the stairs/entrance way to the second level make for a lovely indoor waterfall! It’s quite relaxing working to the sound of a “water feature”.
I have included a few photos. Sorry for the quality but they were taken on my old phone not my camera.
Yes there is half an inch of water over all the floor!